DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Each year, the YWCA Dayton and a group of student volunteers from University of Dayton hang ribbons around the city to spread domestic violence awareness.

“We’re hanging ribbons, and on the ribbons are some cards that give some details and numbers out for anyone that needs it,” UD student Patrick Westendorf said.

Volunteers hang purple ribbons around Dayton and Preble County every October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“By talking about it, by hanging ribbons, by making this part of the conversation, we’re bringing visibility to this urgent problem that violence is,” YWCA Marketing & Communications Manager Kaitlin Schroeder said.

The YWCA Dayton operates the only domestic violence shelters in Montgomery and Preble County.

On average, they have 60 women and 30 children staying in their shelters at a time.

Schroeder said 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence.

“If there’s someone in your life that you are worried, that is showing signs of withdrawal, showing signs of injuries, showing signs of being afraid of their partner, or always wondering if something they’re doing is going to set them off,” Schroeder said. “These are all signs that maybe it’s time to open up a conversation and talk with them some more.”

UD criminal justice students helped hang the ribbons, tying the campus and community together.

“You can recognize it in like friends or people in your community, so you can give support to them and to other people around you,” UD student Eloise Taylor said. “Just so people have a network of other people and a community to go to because community is really big at UD.”

The YWCA hopes these ribbons signal to those going through domestic violence they are not alone.

“You don’t have to wonder what to do with the people in your life that you can you can reach out to the resources, the community, and get help,” Schroeder said.

The YWCA operates a domestic violence crisis hotline, which is staffed with trained crisis counselors. It can be reached 24/7 at 937-222-SAFE. For more information about the help available, click here.